Legion of boomers: How good would celebrities be at football?

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College football of some kind will be played in the fall.

Well, actually, we don’t know that for sure. But we should remain hopeful. For starters, there’s just too much money to be lost: A canceled season would cost the Power Five conference schools an estimated total of $4.1 billion in fiscal year revenue.

What’s more is that just last week, E. Gordon Gee, the 76-year-old president of West Virginia University, said football will be back — even if it means he has to participate in it.

“We are going to play football in the fall,” Gee said in an interview with WOWK. “Even if I have to suit up — and I’ve got my ankles taped, I’m ready to go in.”

Having older men play football in order to save the 2020-21 college football season is an impetuous idea at best — words such as “ludicrous” and “terrible” also come to mind. Notwithstanding, Gee’s jovial comment is thought-provoking.

If worse comes to worst, how would notable baby boomers and Gen Xers fare on the gridiron? Where would they play? What would they do after college? Does anyone really care?

If this article proves anything, it is that we really need sports to return. Here goes nothing:


Bill Clinton

If the 42nd president of the United States, now 73 years old, were to put on a uniform, he would have a relatively long (yet likely scandal-stained) college football career. After a short stint as starting quarterback at the University of Arkansas, Clinton would enter the transfer portal and end up at Virginia. There, Clinton would exceed expectations, leading the Cavaliers to a 9-3 season.

After earning the starting job for the second straight year at UVA, Clinton would likely become the subject of an internal investigation. Following a measly two-game suspension, the former commander in chief would lead the Wahoos to their first national championship and declare for the NFL draft with the highest approval rating of any pres — I mean, UVA quarterback since Matt Schaub.


Denzel Washington

Like the New Orleans Saints’ Taysom Hill or the Las Vegas Raiders’ incoming rookie Lynn Bowden Jr., Washington would be a jack of all trades at the University of Washington — get it? Listed as a running back on the depth chart, the 65-year-old would play every position imaginable, even stepping in as coach on occasion.

Much like those of longtime Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, the length of Washington’s college career as well as his omnipresence on the field would require sports commentators to clarify exactly which “play by Washington” they are referring to and in what year it was made. Squabbles would surely ensue over which of his many spectacular plays is the best. Not one to seek personal “Glory,” Washington would insist that the hype surrounding him is “Much Ado About Nothing.”


Steve Carell

Carell would have a, well, cringeworthy college football career. Beginning his stint at UPenn, Carell would start at quarterback for three years — not for his IQ of the grid game (of which he’d probably have little) or his innate ability to lead a football team (of which he’d likely have none), but because it’s UPenn: a small, low-budget program overshadowed by in-state behemoths such as Pitt and Penn State. Knowing UPenn’s football squad is already a lost cause, the coaches would ignore Carell’s ineptitude at quarterback.

After years of losing and mistreatment by certain members of the coaching staff, the former star of the TV show “The Office” would soon lose interest in football and opt to grad-transfer to the University of Colorado Boulder in order to pursue a love interest. Carell would be considered a failure by some, but, in all fairness, his heart was never in it.


Dwayne Johnson

A physical specimen with charisma and a pearly white smile to boot, the Rock would be a force on the football field but see little playing time. After receiving offers from blue-blood programs such as Penn State, Clemson and Florida State, the defensive tackle would accept a scholarship from the University of Miami. Over the course of his four years at the U, the 6’5”, 290-pounder would start in only one game.

Underscouted out of college, Johnson would go on to pursue a career in acting and wrestling in the WWE (which are one and the same). His decision to pursue a career outside of football would prove to be astute, as Johnson would star in dozens of movies and become one of the highest-paid actors in the industry. Of course, this is all just a hunch …

William Cooke covers women’s basketball. Contact him at [email protected].